Authors: Jose Luis Capelo, Isela Lavilla, Carlos Bendicho
Journal: Analytical Chemistry, 73: 3732-3736, 08/2001
A new sample pretreatment method based on ultrasonic extraction in HCl medium and subsequent oxidation of the extracts by sonozone (i.e., sonolysis−ozonolysis) has been developed for determination of reactive arsenic toward sodium tetrahydroborate [mainly As(III) + As(V)] by flow injection-hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry. This method avoids the use of intensive treatments with concentrated and corrosive acids, high pressures, and temperatures that are inherent with traditional wet or dry ashing procedures and entails reduced waste production and reagent consumption. A sonozone process at room temperature was optimized to break the bond of As to proteins and macromolecular constituents which was an essential requirement for effective reduction by l-cysteine prior to arsine generation. Spiking experiments showed that As(III), As(V), MMA, and DMA were fully recovered from several matrixes on applying the above treatment. On the other hand, a nonreducible As species such as arsenobetaine that is predominant in some biological samples remained unchanged. Application of the method to sediment, soil, fly ash, and plant CRMs demonstrated that, in general, a good agreement existed between certified and found As contents, thereby indicating the absence of nonreducible As forms. Low As recoveries were observed for fish CRMs, as a result of the nondegradability of arsenobetaine by sonozone. The detection limit of As in the samples investigated was in the range 0.19−2.8 μg g-1.